WAMEGO — The Concordia High School wrestling team opened its season by placing sixth in the Wamego Invitational on Saturday.
Concordia, with all 10 wrestlers finishing in the top seven of their respective weight classes, scored 119 points in the tournament.
Salina Central won the tournament with 289 points. Abilene finished second with 235 points and Ottawa was third with 198.5 points.
“I was very pleased with our overall effort and motor of these young men. They continued to work hard and fight throughout the day, never giving up. This group has a strong desire to be successful, and I believe they will clean up their technique and become more competitive as the season progresses,” Concordia coach Kevin Brown said.
Cameron Miller posted a 4-1 record on his way to a second-place finish in the 126-pound class for Concordia.
Miller pinned Tony Wurtz, Ottawa; slipped past Caysen Smith, Abilene, 5-4; and pinned Jordan Boudreaux, Tonganoxie.
In the semifinals, Miller pinned Isaac Korinek, Salina Central, before losing a 10-2 major decision to Dalton Carley, Wamego, in the title match.
Cole Larsen went 3-2, and placed third in the 113-pound class for Concordia.
Larsen pinned Tyler Salmon, Tonganoxie; and Dwij Hirpara, Ottawa; and won 6-3 over Angel Negron, Wamego. He lost by fall to first-place finisher Zane Baugh, Abilene, and to second-place finisher Chance Sorell, Salina Central.
Concordia got fourth-place finishes by Matthew Whitley, 120 pounds; Tracer Workman, 138 pounds; Kyle Marks, 220 pounds; and Zak Romo, 285 pounds.
Whitley won two matches and lost three. He pinned Jacob Christie, Wamego, and won an 11-2 major decision. He was pinned by first-place finisher Felix Strauss, Abilene; second-place finisher Jacob Christie, Wamego; and lost to Drew Nutt, Ottawa.
Workman went 2-3. He pinned Tyler Lindzy, Salina Central, and won a 17-3 major decision over Joe Haug, Wamego. He lost by fall to second-place finisher Brandon Bell, Ottawa; lost by fall to eventual champion Garret Martin, Tonganoxie; and fell 12-9 to AJ Burenheide, Rock Creek.
Marks was also 2-3 in the tournament. He pinned Chase Livengood, Salina Central and Kley Bolivar, Ottawa; and lost 14-2 to second-place finisher Zeke Kissinger, Tonganoxie; lost 7-3 to Clayton Jackson, Chase County; and fell 5-2 to champion Kasey Feyh, Wamego.
Romo pinned Chandler Adamson and lost by fall to champion Jeremy Zimmerman, Fall City, Neb., lost by fall to second-place finisher Vince Johnson, Salina Central and lost by fall to Breck Schlup, Chase County.
Concordia had two wrestlers in the 132-pound class. Gage Canfield went 3-2 to place fifth. Isaac Sprague was 1-3 in finishing sixth.
Canfield pinned Brett Black, Fall City; and Andrew Etris, Rock Creek. He then defeated Sprague 5-2 in the fifth-place match.
Sprague defeated Seth Leuthiphonh, Salina Central, 4-0. He lost by technical fall to first-place finisher Clayton Himpel, Tonganoxie; lost by fall to Donivyn Will, Salina Central; and then fell to Canfield.
Blaze Payeur won four matches and lost just one in finishing fifth in the 145-pound class for the Panthers.
Payeur pinned Heath Martin, Tonganoxie; pinned Jake Wessel, Chase County; pinned Jayden Creach, Ottawa; and pinned Austin Nelson, Chase County. He lost by technical fall to Sam Carver, Ottawa.
Brenton Edwards finished seventh in the 106-pound class for Concordia.
Edwards was 1-3. He pinned Max Washburn, Wamego, in the seventh-place match. He lost by technical fall to Dylan Bloom, Wamego; lost by fall to first-place finisher Logan McDowell, Abilene; and lost by fall to George Lang, Tonganoxie.
“We need to continue to focus on holding position, and opening up opportunities to score. We were impatient at times trying to force moves that weren’t there, putting us in poor position. With mat time and more practice this group will begin to understand and fell their scoring opportunities, putting themselves in a better position to win matches,” Brown said.
Concordia had six wrestlers compete in the junior varsity tournament hosted by Salina South on Saturday.
James McCabe went 3-1 and finished third in the 145-pound class.
Taylon Whitley, 106 pounds; Logan Higbee, 160 pounds; and Baley Kindel, 170 pounds, were each 1-2.
Alec Ngo, 106, and Gavin Shuler, were 0-2.